The short answer to this is yes. To have a successful business you need to use content marketing, and to be successful with that marketing you need a plan.
The easiest way is to plan in quarters. Plan out your content over a three month period, you can use an excel spreadsheet, google drive or a paper planner.
This way you can also plot key editorial dates – it also gives you fluidity to adjust your plan to timely events and topics.
Last year according to data from impact, 89% of B2B marketers and 86% of B2C marketers were using content marketing.
But only 37% of B2B marketers and 40% of B2C marketers had a documented content marketing strategy.
As a small business you may be wondering if this applies to you – it does. Customers are more likely to buy from you if you have reached them via a blog, social media, newsletter or video.
Your content marketing should be solving your customer’s problems. They need to understand what you are selling, and how they can buy it. You can do this by being interesting and informative, it’s not a sales pitch. You should be creating customer conversations that can lead to conversions.
Firstly ask – Why am I creating content?
- To build brand awareness
- To drive traffic to your website
- To generate leads
- To convert leads into customers
- To reduce costs
- To retain customers
Also think about who your ideal customer is, make sure the content you write is aimed at them.
In an ideal world you would have a weekly blog, a piece of gated content, like a guide, white paper, webinar, e-book, where you can legitimately gather email addresses with consent. Remember you can’t trade content for emails, they will still need to opt-in to your newsletter. But only plan what you can achieve. Start with a monthly or bi-weekly blog and e-newsletter. Make sure you consistently publish them. In your content plan also map out how you are sharing the content on your social platforms.
Once you get in a routine of mapping out your content, you can think about offering yourself as a guest blogger or guest on a podcast.
“Content marketing is really like a first date. If all you do is talk about yourself, there won’t be a second date.” ~ David Beebe, former head of content, Marriott.
Do you have a content plan? Let us know in the comments below.
Need some inspiration? Here’s ten easy content ideas.